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Peter Davidson – A Fine Line

Linda Cheng visits an exhibition showcasing the architectural drawings of Peter Davidson.

Peter Davidson – A Fine Line


May 7th, 2012

What could be more simple or more poignant than a black line on a white page?

A new exhibition of veteran architect Peter Davidson’s drawings explores the primary element of line and the somewhat lost art of architectural drawing.



Peter Davidson is co-director of LAB architecture studio, whose work in architectural practice and teaching spans three decades and three continents.

He made his mark in the world architectural landscape with the competition winning design for Melbourne’s Federation Square in collaboration with partner Donald Bates.

In 2010, Davidson tragically suffered a major stroke which took away some of his speech as well as mobility in his right side – his dominant side.

Through his rehabilitation, Davidson has produced over 1000 drawings by his non-dominant hand, some 200 of which are on exhibition at Daine Singer Gallery in Melbourne.


The drawings are distinctively architectural. They explore architectural concepts of spatial relationships, the figure/ground and form and they show structure, pattern and texture.

In essence, the artworks are exercises in the pure artistic expression of the architectural drawing, as distinct from architectural drawings in the practical sense which communicate a building.

The deliberateness of the line with its controlled, fluid motion, meticulously traced over and over to form patterns, lightness and shadow is, at its core, what defines a drawing at the architect’s hand.


Peter Davidson is as much a veteran practitioner who puts the spotlight on the lost art of the architectural drawing as he is a stroke victim who re-learns how to draw.

This exhibition is an incredible insight into a personal process of rehabilitation, but perhaps more so, a rare look at the process of architectural exploration.




Peter Davidson: A Fine Line is on show until 19 May.

Daine Singer Gallery

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